THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20
PERFORMANCE Get in the holiday spirit with “Cirque Dreams Holidaze” at the Theatre at MGM National Harbor. The show—which, despite its name, is not part of Cirque du Soleil—is a family-friendly holiday show that’s both musical theatre and circus performance. Be prepared for over-the-top costumes, holiday music (both familiar and original), and gravity-defying stunts. Through December 23. $29.95-$90.
MUSIC “The 9 Songwriter Series” is a collective with a rotating cast of nine different songwriters with shows up and down the East Coast. Their next performance at Union Stage is holiday themed: In addition to these songwriters’ original music, expect to hear each one play a holiday tune as well. Performers typically collaborate and harmonize with each other in addition to telling stories about their music. This show will include group leader Justin Trawick as well as Abby Sevcik (Mystery Friends), Louisa Hall, Kevin de Souza (Uptown Boys Choir), Grover, Davis Gestiehr (Davison), Greg Vickers, the Duskwhales, and Jasmine Gillison. $12 (in advance) or $15 (day of), 8:30 PM.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21
FILM The American History Museum is screening several holiday films throughout the weekend, starting with Love Actually (Friday) and continuing through the weekend with Die Hard (Saturday), The Nightmare Before Christmas (Sunday), and Home Alone (Sunday). Friday’s Love Actually screening will be preceded by a special cocktail hour. Through December 24. Films: $10; Love Actually happy hour: $35.
KRAMPUS DC’s annual “Krampusnacht” celebration—of the Central European horned demon Krampus who accompanies St. Nick—was cancelled this year, but the organizers are bringing the fun to the Black Cat. Instead of the traditional Krampuslauf procession, stay indoors for the “Bah Humbug Krampus Ball,” featuring children’s activities, costume contests, and musical performances. The event will benefit Santa’s Cause DC, which brings Christmas gifts to foster children, so donations of unwrapped toys are welcome at the door. $15 (in advance) or $18 (at the door), 7:30 PM.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22
MUSIC British a cappella sextet The King’s Singers is celebrating its 50th(!) birthday with a “GOLD Christmas” performance at the Washington National Cathedral. Expect to hear modern and classical holiday tunes including many selections from the group’s Christmas albums. They will also perform “We Are,” a newly-commissioned piece written by King’s Singers alum Bob Chilcott that sets to music a poem by Maya Angelou. $25-$95, 7:30 PM.
FILM Czech artist Jiří Trnka illustrated children’s books and pioneered stop-motion puppet animation. His 1950 film “Bayaya,” which screens Saturday at the National Gallery of Art, is based on a fairy tale by Božena Němcová and features knights, dragons, and a peasant who falls in love with a princess. Free, 2 PM.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23
COMEDY Comedian Laura Prangley grew up in Olney, MD and has since lived in New York (where she was a contributing writer for SNL’s “Weekend Update”) and Los Angeles (where she produces MTV’s “Too Stupid To Die” and Facebook’s “That Detox Life”). Home for the holidays, she’s hosting an “Uncorked Comedy” show at City Winery featuring several local comedians including Martin Amini (“Laff Tracks,” “Unprotected Sets”), Kasha Patel (DC Science Comedy), Pearl Rose, Brittany Carney, and Herbie Gill. $15, 8 PM.
DRINK Check out the Miracle on 7th Street pop-up and support the Smithsonian National Zoo on Sunday night’s “Eve of the Eve Panda-monium” event. All of the night’s proceeds will benefit the zoo, and there will be a giant panda photo opp, plus the bar’s signature festive cocktails. Enjoy the mistletoe photo booth plus other interactive (and Instagrammable) moments. 21+ only. $20, 5 PM – 11 PM (ticketed time slot guarantees 2 hour entry to Miracle on 7th Street).